We Welcome Birmingham’s Newest Cohort!

Not Pictured:  Antonio Alexander, Dave Barnhart, Sherrad Hayes

“In fall of 2017 the Birmingham 2.0 began to form. Considerable periods of prayer and thought went into the ‘asks’ that were made to the women and men that would eventually become this new group. We were particularly sensitive to making sure that the group was diverse-diversity is our great strength. We represent a broad denominational/theological spectrum and we come from all over the city. We come from some of the wealthiest and some of the poorest communities in Birmingham. We range in experience-from a few years to several decades in ministry. We represent old established congregations and burgeoning church plants. We are the pastors of house churches, missionaries, and retreat leaders. We are activists and advocates. We are creatives and analysts. We challenge and encourage one another. We are learning from one another.

Heretofore we have discovered several overlaps in our efforts and we regularly support one another’s local efforts. The relationships we are fostering are life-long. We are becoming a model what the Church should look like. Our love for God and one another, our mutuality and reciprocity, and our genuine affection for one another are bright spots in a very troubling time.

The biggest surprise of our cohort is in the number of us that are going through transitions. Our families are changing. Our ministries are going through changes. Many of us are discerning our next calls. And this is not to mention the awesome shifts in our broader contexts. We are learning to embrace the tension. We are learning to manage conflicts and friction as to produce positive motion. All of us are, in some way or another, striving to be faithful to God even if it means abandoning the familiar and the comfortable. We are, in the words of Tod Bolsinger, ‘canoeing the mountains.’ We are living on a bridge that we are building between our alreadys and our not-yets!

Thank God for the Macedonian Ministry and the support we are able to offer and receive from this experience.”

– Rev. Adam Mixon, Cohort Facilitator, Birmingham 2

 


Meet the Cohort!

Adam Mixon

Cohort Facilitator, Zion Spring Baptist Church

“I said ‘yes’ to Macedonian Ministry because of the great blessing, help, and comfort it provided for me a cohort member.  Great blessing comes with great responsibility.  I take this responsibility seriously – that’s why I said, ‘Yes.'”

Antonio Alexander

Cohort Member, Zion Spring Baptist Church

“I said yes to being in this cohort because it’s a great learning experience. I think it will broaden my perception on what God intends for the universal church.”

Dave Barnhart

Cohort Member, Saint Junia United Methodist Church

“I said yes to being in this cohort because some of the most powerful and life-changing experiences I’ve had have been with peer-learning groups. This group is full of high-caliber people of diverse races and backgrounds, and they are all people I would genuinely like to know better. I think the Holy Spirit thrives in groups like this.”

Rachel Estes

Cohort Member, Canterbury United Methodist Church

“People I know and respect asked me to consider it. I trust that they understand the work that I do and how I do it and feel like this would be an engaging experience for me.”

Elizabeth Goodrich

Cohort Member

“I said yes to being a member of this cohort because I’ve been eager to have another shot at being part of a diverse Macedonian Ministry cohort. I was the last woman standing in the original Birmingham cohort and decided the experience would be better for me in a more balanced group.”

Sherrad Hayes

Cohort Member, Homewood Cumberland Presbyterian Church

“I said yes to being a member of this cohort because I know several members of the first Birmingham cohort personally, and I’ve seen first-hand the positive impact that group had on their lives and ministries. They have a bond of camaraderie and friendship that is rare for such a diverse group of pastors. These personal connections have led to church connections across the city.”

Ron Higey

Cohort Member, Birmingham International Church

“I said yes to being a member of this cohort because I want to part of a group that will both challenge me and give me new insights into ways of doing ministry and perspectives.”

Andrea McCaskey

Cohort Member, Momentum

“I said yes to being part of this cohort to gain support as I continue to pursue part time ministry and explore the possibilities of making ministry my full time career. I am also hoping to gain accountability for my continued spiritual growth.”

Deron McDaniel

Cohort Member, Zion Hope Baptist Church

“I said yes to being a member of this cohort because I see the cohort as an opportunity for growth and encouragement. I witnessed the impact it has had on participants of previous cohorts. I also look forward to offering contributions to this cohort as well as gaining from mutual exchange, that will be a blessing.”

Yolanda McMillan

Cohort Member, Sixth Avenue Baptist Church

“I said yes to being a member of this cohort to learn from other ministers of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the opportunity for great fellowship in a diverse atmosphere.”

Jon Meads

Cohort Member, Dawson Memorial Baptist Church

“I said yes to being a member of this cohort because of the relationship I have with Adam Mixon, our facilitator, and a desire to learn from him, as well as a desire to be part of a diverse cohort of ministers in Birmingham.”

Eva Milton

Cohort Member, The Firm Foundation Church

“I said yes to being a member of this cohort to have a safe space among my peers in ministry in which to grow and share. I believe I can learn from the group leaders and my peers in this group. The diversity of this group brings great hope to me. It will allow me to interact with those from other denominations and affiliations that I may not have ever met without this intentional group.”

Katie Nakamura Rengers

Cohort Member, The Abbey

“I said yes to being a part of this cohort because I was invited by a friend whose ministry I admire very much. In addition, I wanted to engage with passionate, energetic leaders from my neighborhood.”

Jim Truesdell

Cohort Member

“I sad yes to being a part of this cohort because I was looking for a peer group that would provide accountability, encouragement and professional guidance. The composition of the group was key: mulit-ethnic, multi-denominational and several church planters that are bi-vocational. It’s also clear that the people in the cohort have a commitment to the gospel and a variety of experiences, social locations, and philosophies of ministry. The exchange is energizing.”